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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Barsky, LMHC

3 Ways to BEAT Codependency

Do you feel like you NEED others to get through the day, to help you make decisions, and to feel safe? All people rely on others to a certain extent, and that's healthy, but when it feels unbearable and painful to be separated from people or to make an independent decision, you may be suffering from co-dependency.


Here are some things you can practice:

1. Getting to know yourself.

“You can’t be independent if you don’t know yourself.”

Some people revolve entire identity around their spouse, their children, their friendships. When you spend so much time surrounding yourself with the likes of others, it's difficult to make time to figure out what your true likes and dislikes are. Ask yourself some questions to figure it out. What do you truly enjoy spending your time doing, when you're alone? I encourage journaling. Also, try to get involved in as many different activities as possible (and that you have the time for) so you can learn more about your likes and dislikes.

2. Making your own decisions.

When we are co-dependent, we need constant reassurance and validation. To get out of the habit of asking others what you should do, tell yourself that you believe in yourself to make your own decisions. If you tell yourself this enough times, you will eventually come to believe it. Encourage yourself to ask – what do YOU want to do? What is BEST for you? HOW can you achieve what’s best for you? Give yourself a change - I bet you already know the answer. You will probably feel nervous. Don't give in - you can live through this anxiety and it will pass.

Remember to give yourself credit when you make a decision on your own - it's hard to overcome co-dependency and you just took a step towards independence!

3. Learning to soothe yourself.

When we are co-dependent, we rely on other people to help us feel better, when we're down, and now it's time for us to learn to help ourselves. Develop and use relaxation techniques that work for you: deep breathing/meditation, taking a hot shower/bath, working on mindfulness, taking a walk, doing a puzzle, reading a good book, having a cup of tea, taking a nap... the list is endless and is yours to individualize!

Are you struggling with codependency? Therapy can help. Reach out to me today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

For more information on trauma treatment, click the link!

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